Li alloy-based non-volatile actuators

Myoung Sub Noh, Hyunseok Lee, Young Geun Song, Inki Jung, Ruiguang Ning, Sung Wook Paek, Hyun Cheol Song, Seung Hyub Baek, Chong Yun Kang, Sangtae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional artificial muscles induce bending by aligning large-sized ions within the electrolyte upon bias application. Such design, alike many other actuator types, suffer from volatile actuation where the actuated position gets lost upon switch-off. Here, we develop a non-volatile artificial muscle with ion insertion electrode materials. Upon bias application, the inserted ions pose stress on the electrodes that sustain even after power shut-off. The demonstrated actuator consists of lithium germanide (Li x Ge) thin films deposited on both sides of a flexible polyimide (PI) substrate. The device exhibits 35.2 mm displacement when operated at 2 V and generates the blocking force of 0.67 mN. The observed stress and volume expansion reach 248 MPa and 8.2% for the 284 nm Li 3 Ge thin films, respectively. The actuated position is maintained against gravity with 12.1% decay in the actuated distance after 10 min. The novel actuator type proves the potential use of lithium insertion materials as actuation materials and shows that non-volatile actuation can be realized with ion-insertion electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Artificial Muscles
  • Electrochemistry
  • Li Alloys
  • Non-Volatile Actuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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